The holidays are on their way. And with them comes the conundrum of figuring out which gifts to buy. If you want to know what to get the gamer in your life, it can be tricky — each one is different.
You could always get them extra controllers, gift cards, or subscriptions to various services. But there are also more creative options out there. Luckily, we have some suggestions based on gamers’ preferences, predicaments, and platforms to help you out.
Want to know what to get your gamer this holiday season? Check out this list for 10 great gifts based on what type of player you’re buying for.
1. For the New Gamer: Console and Game Bundles
So you’ve got a young gamer or a newbie that has recently started dipping their toes into the gaming world. Maybe they’re transitioning from mobile gaming into something more intense. Maybe they’re even switching from a PC to a console.
If they don’t have a console and you are close enough to them to get them a gift they’ll use for years, then a console bundle is a great gift for the neophyte gamer.
You can choose from a number of console bundles that will give your gamer both a console and a starter game. It’s best to get the input of your gamer regarding what console they might want, but you can also surprise them with a particular bundle. For a negligibly higher price, they will have a game to play with their new console as soon as they plug it in.
If they prefer playing on PC, you can get some pretty great deals on game bundles. Awesome games are the perfect way to expand their horizons. You can find deals and bundles near the holiday season on digital storefronts such as Origin and Steam. Keep an eye on the various Humble Bundles, as they offer an easy way to get many games at an affordable price.
2. For the PS4 Gamer: Seagate 2TB Game Drive for PS4
The ability to use an external hard drive with your PlayStation 4 is a relatively new feature. Previously, you had to upgrade your PS4’s hard drive to add more storage. This means that many PS4 gamers don’t have the convenience of plug-and-play storage yet — making an external drive a great gift.
Getting one that is already compatible with the PS4 makes it easy for a novice console owner to set up. You don’t need to format it, and Seagate ensures compatibility. If you want to buy a bigger drive or don’t want this specially-branded PS4 drive, check out our list of the best portable hard drives. But whichever you get, an external drive is both useful and quite affordable — the perfect gift for a PS4 owner with lots of games.
If you’d like to get something different, have a look at more gift ideas for PS4.
3. For the Xbox One Gamer: Play & Charge Kit
While the Kinect is dead, there are plenty of other Xbox One accessories that make great gifts for your favorite gamer. You’ll want something that’s useful, and there are few accessories as handy as the Xbox One Play & Charge Kit.
With the Xbox One controller, players have to regularly replace the batteries. The lack of native charging capabilities is a pet peeve for many owners of the console. But with the Play & Charge Kit, your Xbox One controller gains a rechargeable battery that you can charge while playing thanks to the included cable. It saves you from buying disposable batteries.
If the reviews are anything to go by, it’s a popular and praised accessory among Xbox One gamers. Check out more gift ideas for Xbox owners if you’d like a second opinion.
4. For the Wii U Gamer: Wii U Pro Controller
If you have a Wii U owner in your life, they likely have a bunch of games optimized for use with the GamePad controller. It does take some getting used to, but most Wii U games are made with the GamePad in mind. This works for many scenarios, and is something that sets the console apart.
On the other hand, your gamer might appreciate the chance to use a more typical controller with their Wii U games. If they’d like something a little more standard, the Pro Controller is a perfect choice. This controller features dual analog sticks, a D-pad, and triggers for when you play games that aren’t designed for the Wii U’s tablet. If you need more ideas, there are a variety of Wii U gifts to choose from.
5. For the PC Gamer: Razer DeathAdder Chroma Mouse
PC gamers are a selective bunch. Each likely has brands and models they prefer over others. While buying them hardware might be tricky if you don’t know their preferences, a mouse makes a great gift! A PC gamer uses a mouse like an artist uses a paintbrush.
Of the brands of PC accessories on the market, most consider Razer products as high quality. The DeathAdder is one of their most popular, if unadorned models. It’s a good mouse for any PC gamer, from casual gamers to pros. Even if your gamer already has a mouse, they will appreciate having a reliable and proven backup.
For more ideas, see our list of PC gamer gifts under $100.
6. For the Mobile Gamer: IPEGA PG-9068 Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad
If you know a serious mobile gamer with a diverse library of games, you could vastly improve their experience with the right controller. Yes, there are ways to pair controllers to mobile devices, like connecting a PS3 controller to an Android phone. But this often comes with some tedious setup and sometimes even the hassle of rooting your phone.
Fortunately, there are tech companies that make controllers specifically catered towards mobile gamers.
The IPEGA PG-9068 Bluetooth Wireless Gamepad is a great option. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android phones. You can clip your phone onto the gamepad itself using the included stand, which supports devices with displays of up to six inches. Whether you’re emulating retro games or checking out the latest releases, a controller will make play sessions way more comfortable.
7. For the Nintendo Switch Gamer: Travel Case+ MicroSD Card
The Nintendo Switch (our review) has a variety of useful accessories that you can buy as gifts. But two essential accessories for Switch owners are travel cases and expandable storage.
For cases, our personal favorite is the deluxe traveler case from RDP, officially licensed by Nintendo. The Super Mario Odyssey theme is adorable, but you can also get this case in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart, and Splatoon variants.
What about the microSD card? Well, the Switch only has 32GB of internal storage. This runs out fast, considering many Switch games, especially third-party offerings like Skyrim and Doom, can hit 20GB or more. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild alone takes up almost half of the console’s storage. Therefore, a microSD card to expand storage will be a welcomed gift.
A 64GB card offers a solid space boost without costing too much, but feel free to buy a larger card if you like. Just make sure to avoid the Nintendo Switch-branded cards, which are ripoffs.
8. For the Hardcore Gamer: Blue Light Shield Computer Gaming Glasses
For some, gaming is an all-consuming hobby or even a job. Professional gamers and those who love to play as often as possible are unfortunately at a high risk of eye strain and accompanying problems such as headaches. It’s a side effect of staring at a bright screen with flashing colors constantly.
Getting a pair of glasses designed to cut down on screen glare is highly recommended for gamers. If you have a gamer who can’t look away from their screen (out of professional obligation, sheer joy, or both), getting them a pair of gaming glasses can spare them headaches in a very literal sense.
Some pairs of glasses even claim to even help you see targets in games more easily and improve performance. We can’t promise that they’ll make someone a better gamer, but they will add more comfort to the experience.
9. For the Gamer Who Likes Customization: Controller Shells, Skins, and Faceplates
Most controllers are comfortable — even PC users play some games with them. The problem is that major controllers hardly offer any aesthetic variety, and controllers with special skins come at a significant cost.
However, pre-made shells and skins are an inexpensive way to add a bit of flair to controllers. Depending on the gamer’s preferences, you can choose soft silicone skins, hard plastic shells, or partial faceplates which only cover the front. Just make sure to get the correct shell or skin for the controller. You wouldn’t want to try fit a PS4 shell on an Xbox One controller, for example.
10. For the Gamer Who Has Everything: Ficmax Ergonomic Gaming Chair
So your giftee is a gamer who owns every system and has all the games they could ever want. What do you get for someone like that? Well, a highly-desired but rarely bought gaming accessory is the indulgent gaming chair.
Whether using a PC or a console, gamers need a comfortable chair for long play sessions. They also appreciate luxurious features such as footrests and massage pillows that really get them in the zone.
With the right gaming chair, you can make someone’s gaming experience quite the extravagant affair. And your gamer will be sure to appreciate the extra comfort.
What Are Other Great Gifts for Gamers?
While these 10 items offer great starting points when buying gifts for your gamer friends and loved ones, you’ll find tons of additional options. You can be sure that gamers will expand their own inventory during the seasonal sales. Some will even pick up recently-released consoles, such as the Xbox One X (our review).
They will also look forward to huge discounts on games, as well as subscription services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. You might want to consider these if you’re looking for cost-effective gifts.
What will you get your gamer this holiday season? Have any good ideas we might have missed? Give your fellow readers some extra gift ideas in the comments section below!